Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Ogden & Cache Valley RR - Layout Construction

70729 views
433 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Sunday, February 5, 2017 6:34 PM

 I built the 3/4" plywood subroadbed for the Cache Valley Branch line as it climbs from the mainline elevation at 82" up above the upper return loop at 88" (Franklin, Idaho). It's about a 40 ft climb at 1.25% grade and the total length of the branchline is about 58 ft.



The mainline as it passes under the Cache Valley Branchline. The minaline will enter a tunnel right about here.



I also installed the Woodland Scenics foam roadbed for the Cache Valley Branchline. Here's where the branchline splits off the mainline using a Peco Code 83 #8 turnout.



The #6 turnout is where a spur that services a coal mine facility will be located.



The branchline climbs as it heads out and back in the right 'wing'. The mainline is in the foreground.





The view of the branchline passing over the mainline as it heads up and over the upper return loop.



The connection for the branchline subroadbed to the plywood base above the upper return loop. There will be a 3/4" foam insulation panel above the 3/4" plywood base.



Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Saturday, February 4, 2017 12:56 PM

The view of the new wall panels above the upper return loop as you enter the layout room.



The new wall panels above the upper return loop. The 5mm door skin panels are noticeably more pink than the (faded) panels that have been installed for over a year. I will be painting all these panels the light beige room color eventually.



You can see all the risers supporting the plywood base (and wall panels) above the upper return loop.



The exposed half of the upper return loopand staging tracks.



I plan to install 3/4" foam on top of the 3/4" plywood.



It's ready for the 1/8" masonite backdrop panels to be installed.



The Atlas rerailers mark the 'foul point' clearance locations in the staging tracks. As long as locomotives/trains don't pass the rerailer they will not foul the turnout ladder/mainline.



After installing the 1/8" masonite backdrop panels with coved corners.





The backdrop is ready for the screws and seams to be spackled/faired/sanded/repeat.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Thursday, February 2, 2017 9:14 AM

riogrande5761

Ah, plans within plans.  Makes sense to have a visible working area located above a hidden staging. 

You are really stacking it deep and cramming in maximum operation using the vertical as well as horizontal space.  Dang!

Amongst the items on my very long list of 'Druthers' while designing the layout were the ability to run fairly long (30-35 car) freight/coal trains without the front end being in one 'town' and the back end being in another.  I also wanted to provide the feeling that trains are actually going somewhere (a journey). This required a long mainline run (~500 feet).  Doing a three level mushroom design allowed for this and it also provides for spacious aisles (4ft+) and spread-out operators. I think the layout should comfortably support 12-15 operators without being crowded at all.  The three level mushroom design has certainly been an real world engineering challenge but I'm very happy with the results so far.

Doug

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • 8,651 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, February 2, 2017 7:45 AM

Ah, plans within plans.  Makes sense to have a visible working area located above a hidden staging. 

You are really stacking it deep and cramming in maximum operation using the vertical as well as horizontal space.  Dang!

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Thursday, February 2, 2017 4:26 AM

Starting to work on the wall panels that will complete the "room within a room" and the final upper level backdrops will mount to.



I have decided that I need to move the near end of the diagonal wall panel in about 2 1/2" to provide a smoother backdrop corner. This means I need to make additional cuts on both pieces of plywood.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 11:54 AM

riogrande5761

What is the purpose of the plywood over the return loop?  Seems to me that would limit access to the tracks if you need to reach trains.  Is that so you can climb around up there and have a platform that can support your weight?

Franklin, Idaho is going to be located above the return loop.  Franklin will be serviced by the "Cache Valley Branch" which climbs from the OSL mainline up to Franklin through the Cache Valley.  Which also explains the name of the layout:  Ogden & Cache Valley.

The return loop/staging track under Franklin can be accessed from both inside the helix structure as well as outside the helix structure.  And yes, the plywood base could support my weight, but not once I install the 3/4" foam on top.  Well, it would still support my weight, but it would appear that Godzilla had wandered across the area because of the large indentations it would make in the foam.  Big Smile

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Canada
  • 1,238 posts
Posted by wickman on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 11:41 AM

This is really going nicely.  Today I had noticed you had a photos link in your signature, makes it real interesting to skip through your steps and each photo  is well documented.  Well done.

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • 8,651 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 9:28 AM

What is the purpose of the plywood over the return loop?  Seems to me that would limit access to the tracks if you need to reach trains.  Is that so you can climb around up there and have a platform that can support your weight?

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    February 2015
  • 223 posts
Posted by Choops on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 9:12 AM

I would suggest splitting that large piece of plywood that covers the switches into two pieces.  If there is ever a problem you won't have to rip out the whole section.

I am doing it on my layout.  My staging is below the main yard.  The end of the yard covers the staging switches.  If I need to get in there i can cut the yard tracks and lift out a 1' X 2' piece and replace it when finished with repairs.

Keep up the good work.

Steve

Modeling Union Pacific between Cheyenne and Laramie in 1957 (roughly)
  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 7:10 AM

I cut and placed the first piece of 3/4" plywood that will cover about half of the upper return loop.



After cutting and placing the second piece of 3/4" plywood.





A view of the space under the plywood for the upper level return loop track.  I will be adding additional support risers under the plywood on the left side.



I finally finished installing the 2ft carpet tiles in the center platform.



The center platform floor is about 16ft x 10ft (on one end) x 8ft (on the other end). And the helix/upper return loop Blob projects into the space by about 3 ft.



Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • 1,358 posts
Posted by SouthPenn on Sunday, January 29, 2017 11:13 AM

Onewolf:

"For whatever reason I have major difficulty getting spikes to fully penetrate plywood without deforming/bending.  Probably 1/3 of the spikes I try to set into plywood end up bending.  I find this 'redo' ratio tolerable when installing turnouts, but not when I'm installing 150+ ft of flex track. "

I think what you will find is the nail/spikes bend when they hit the glue layer in the plywood. Sometimes using plywood with fewer layers ( hence thicker layers ) works well for nailing/spiking.

South Penn
  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Sunday, January 29, 2017 10:56 AM

richhotrain

What do you use to ensure that those long runs stay true and straight?

Rich

 

Flex track?  I have a variety of straight edges (aluminum Empire rulers, 18", 36", 48", 72").  Longer than 72" straight runs I'm out of rulers.  :)

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 22,684 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, January 29, 2017 9:58 AM

What do you use to ensure that those long runs stay true and straight?

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Sunday, January 29, 2017 9:30 AM

I finished installing the upper level mainline track from the bridge over the aisle around to the upper level return loop. I installed track feeders and the 10GA THHN track power bus as well.











This is how I install Tortoise turnout motors when there is an obstruction underneath that prevents mounting them directly under the turnout points. In ths case (the Walthers #8 curved turnout for the return loop) the LED lights for the middle level forced me to offset the Tortoise mount.



An offset mount in one of the upper return loop staging track ladders. I ended up having to offset mount 4 of the 11 turnouts that make up the upper return loop/staging tracks.



A test/prototype of the upper return loop control/status panel. Once I am happy with the layout and functionality of the three control/status panels (lower return loop, helix, upper return loop) I plan to have nice etched plexiglass panels made.



Hinges out for access.



These are the turnout control boards (NCE Switch-8 mk2, Switch-It mk2, button board) that control the 10 staging track ladder turnouts.



Control station #3 controls/powers the Helix, Middle level center, upper level, and upper return loop.



I still have some wire tidying to complete. There is just barely enough room for me to stand/work in there.



Here's the 'hole' in the benchwork I stand in to work on the upper level turnout control components (If I can't reach from the control/status panel access hole).



I'm starting to add the 2x4 risers that will support the 3/4" plywood and 3/4" foam that will cover about half the upper return loop and provide the base for Franklin, Idaho 6" above the return loop track.



The diagonal 1x2 shows how the backdrop partition wall will line up. The upper level return loop on the right will be covered and on the left will be exposed (however it's 82" above the room floor so it won't be readily visible).



The 4ft level shows how much space there will be below the 3/4" plywood base/cover. It looks like trains on the staging tracks should be reasonably visible as they approach the fouling points (Atlas rerailers). I may install an LED strip to the bottom of the 3/4" plywood in this area to improve visibility of the staging tracks, but based on this view it may not be necessary.



Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: west coast
  • 7,024 posts
Posted by rrebell on Sunday, January 15, 2017 12:51 PM

Clear latex caulk is easy to see through for the centerline when wet (even more so when dry), if you cant see the centerline, it is applied too thick.

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • 8,651 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Sunday, January 15, 2017 12:02 PM

Onewolf

For whatever reason I have major difficulty getting spikes to fully penetrate plywood without deforming/bending.  Probably 1/3 of the spikes I try to set into plywood end up bending.  I find this 'redo' ratio tolerable when installing turnouts, but not when I'm installing 150+ ft of flex track.

I do bend a fair mount of track nails myself, but I love the ability to set the track in place instantly.  I guess it depends on whether you find the frustration of bending a few nails is greater than the frustration of the extra faffing around it takes to glue track down.  I mean, how do you even see the centerline and if the track is "true" with the glue in the way covering up the marks?  Plus the wait time and if anything dries crooked, you have to pull it up and re-do it.  It does look likke you can make it work so if you've got the "chops", kudo's.

 
I plan to install guardrails and I plan to use clear material (plexiglass?) around the outside and probably 1/8" masonite around the inside (I have a TON of leftover 1/8" masonite cutoffs from installing backdrops). 

Masonite would be a great guard rail and the clear plexiglass or Lexxan material would be even better because you could see the trains for monitoring purposes and they would be protected from the "big fall".

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • 1,358 posts
Posted by SouthPenn on Saturday, January 14, 2017 10:44 PM

A little late, but: I use cedar shims from Lowes to transition from cork roadbed to the sub roadbed. I cut the shims at the correct thickness to match up with the cork and then it makes a nice smooth transition to the subroadbed. The shims also work going back up to the cork.

I use spikes from Proto87 to lay track directly on plywood. I use the 0.120" long spikes. They penetrate the ties and go partially into the plywood. No drilling.

I use Xuron Tweezernose serrated pliers ( #450S ) to install the spikes.

South Penn
  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Saturday, January 14, 2017 6:29 PM

The track for the upper return loop and staging tracks is complete. Now I'm going to start working on the mainline track leading from the bridge over the aisle to the return loop. Note the lower return loop on the left of the photo. It is functionally identical to the upper return loop.







Looking from the exit of the bridge over the aisle along the mainline track. the first turnout to the right is probably going to be to service a cattle/hog farm/ranch.



Working on laying the mainline track out around the left 'wing'. There is also a passing track in this area I will be installing next.



You can see the roadbed for the passing track on the left of the mainline.



Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: west coast
  • 7,024 posts
Posted by rrebell on Saturday, January 14, 2017 10:06 AM

riogrande5761

 

 
82" absolute elevation

 

Ah!  So it was up in the clouds - I thought in the photo's that top return loop looked very high up - as in step ladder territory, on the outside anyway.

Looks like you are doing pretty much what I would, Walthers #8 curved - widest possible in that line, and flex track etc.  I also inserted re-railer tracks at the beginning and end of each staging track.  But wait, your cars don't derail so why install them?  Big Smile

Only difference is I'm a stubborn old-school coot and don't use a "glue train" - I am not confident I would have the control I prefer by gluing.  I like the control of placing track with tiny nails directly into the centerline I draw and it's fixed right now, and I don't have to wait for the glue to dry and then look down the track and swear a blue streak when I see there is a wobble in the track or the curve is oblong or "off". 

Anyway, never mind my rambling - if you've got the "chops" to lay track nice and true with glue - you are awsome!

Freaking awsome what you have going there. 

What about guardrails to keep expensive derailed freight cars from making the dive?  I'm very risk averse so I like to have some sort of guard rails for helixes and such.

 

THe reason you are having trouble with the glue as you say (I asume caulk), is you need the track gages in place after you set the track and look at everything before it sets. If you use foam under the sub roadbed, it is even eisier because you can pin the outside ties to the foam, remove the gauges and run a train back and forth to make apsolutly sure of no problem (had to do this on one giant s curve I need to get clerance around an obsticle).

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 22,684 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, January 14, 2017 7:09 AM

Onewolf
  
For whatever reason I have major difficulty getting spikes to fully penetrate plywood without deforming/bending.  Probably 1/3 of the spikes I try to set into plywood end up bending.  I find this 'redo' ratio tolerable when installing turnouts, but not when I'm installing 150+ ft of flex track. 
 

The reason is that you are probably not drilling a pilot hole, or at least not drilling the pilot hole deep enough.
 
I nail my track into a plywood surface, using Woodland Scenics Foam Track Bed between the track and the plywood surface.  I use a pin vise with a 0.042" drill bit to make the pilot holes, and I drill the pilot holes as deep as the track nail will penetrate into the plywood.  We don't need no stinkin' bent nails !
 
Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Saturday, January 14, 2017 6:45 AM

riogrande5761

     82" absolute elevation

Only difference is I'm a stubborn old-school coot and don't use a "glue train" - I am not confident I would have the control I prefer by gluing.  I like the control of placing track with tiny nails directly into the centerline I draw and it's fixed right now, and I don't have to wait for the glue to dry and then look down the track and swear a blue streak when I see there is a wobble in the track or the curve is oblong or "off". 

Anyway, never mind my rambling - if you've got the "chops" to lay track nice and true with glue - you are awsome!

What about guardrails to keep expensive derailed freight cars from making the dive?  I'm very risk averse so I like to have some sort of guard rails for helixes and such.

 
For whatever reason I have major difficulty getting spikes to fully penetrate plywood without deforming/bending.  Probably 1/3 of the spikes I try to set into plywood end up bending.  I find this 'redo' ratio tolerable when installing turnouts, but not when I'm installing 150+ ft of flex track. 
 
I plan to install guardrails and I plan to use clear material (plexiglass?) around the outside and probably 1/8" masonite around the inside (I have a TON of leftover 1/8" masonite cutoffs from installing backdrops).

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,028 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Friday, January 13, 2017 10:52 PM

Onewolf:

You are making great progress! It is very interesting watching your layout come to fruition!

Regards,

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    February 2007
  • From: Shenandoah Valley The Home Of Patsy Cline
  • 1,842 posts
Posted by superbe on Friday, January 13, 2017 7:38 PM

Onewolf

Another issue is that you cannot sand it down to fair it when transitioning from mainline roadbed to no roadbed.

[quote user="Onewolf"]

Another issue is that you cannot sand it down to fair it when transitioning from mainline roadbed to no roadbed.

quote]

This is the way I have done it going to my yard. The yard track was attached to the turnout entering the yard. Then it (flex track) was curved as needed while laying it on the layout top. As you can see in the picture there is a gap between the track and the top.

The track has enough vertical strength to support engines as well as cars. When ready I'll stuff ballast under the track and glue it down.

I know this simple method works. How do I know?  This short video will prove the point. I did use a little support on the outside rail of a sweeping curve to give it a little elevation.

 VIDEO

 http://vid172.photobucket.com/albums/w15/superbe/Transition/1-3-2012/20120103171222.mp4

With this said I can't lay claim to this method as I learned it on the forum.

Bob

 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • 8,651 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, January 13, 2017 8:06 AM

82" absolute elevation

Ah!  So it was up in the clouds - I thought in the photo's that top return loop looked very high up - as in step ladder territory, on the outside anyway.

Looks like you are doing pretty much what I would, Walthers #8 curved - widest possible in that line, and flex track etc.  I also inserted re-railer tracks at the beginning and end of each staging track.  But wait, your cars don't derail so why install them?  Big Smile

Only difference is I'm a stubborn old-school coot and don't use a "glue train" - I am not confident I would have the control I prefer by gluing.  I like the control of placing track with tiny nails directly into the centerline I draw and it's fixed right now, and I don't have to wait for the glue to dry and then look down the track and swear a blue streak when I see there is a wobble in the track or the curve is oblong or "off". 

Anyway, never mind my rambling - if you've got the "chops" to lay track nice and true with glue - you are awsome!

Freaking awsome what you have going there. 

What about guardrails to keep expensive derailed freight cars from making the dive?  I'm very risk averse so I like to have some sort of guard rails for helixes and such.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Friday, January 13, 2017 5:58 AM

Gluing down the outside return loop track (mainline). I use DAP Dynaflex 230 clear to glue the flex track. I tack down turnouts and Atlas rerailer assemblies.

Shows the relative height of the return loop from the center platform floor. The center platform floor is 30" above the room floor and the upper return loop is 52" above it (82" absolute elevation).

The view of the helix and upper return loop from the lower main aisle.

The Walthers #8 curved turnout and entrance tracks for the upper return loop staging track ladders. You can also see the mainline track on the middle level level below (20" rail-to-rail elevation difference - 62" vs 82").

Gluing down the first staging track loop. The second staging track has also been soldered and dry placed.

The second staging track dry placed (not glued yet).

Gluing down the second staging track.

 

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 20,462 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 11:11 AM

Onewolf
BMMECNYC

Onewolf,

Just out of curiosity are you going to be on the NMRA convention layout tours in August?

 

I considered that possibility, but I don't think the layout will be far enough along at that point to be worth it for others to be on 'the tour'. 

I think your layout just the way it is now would be a fascinating stop on a tour.  I'd spend more time there than at a finished layout, I suspect.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 9:57 AM

ROBERT PETRICK

What is the deck separation and vertical clearance above the ladder tracks at that loop? Views from the raised mushroom platform seem reasonable, just asking about clearance to get the 0-5-0 in there.

Robert

Only 5", but you can access from either side.

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

  • Member since
    January 2014
  • 1,410 posts
Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 9:36 AM

What is the deck separation and vertical clearance above the ladder tracks at that loop? Views from the raised mushroom platform seem reasonable, just asking about clearance to get the 0-5-0 in there.

Robert 

LINK to SNSR Blog


  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: East Central Florida
  • 480 posts
Posted by Onewolf on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 8:51 AM

riogrande5761

In the photo's, it looks like the upper return loop is very high off the floor; 52-inches really doesn't even require a step ladder in many cases.  I guess it was just the angle of those photo's - man it looked a lot higher.

It's 52" high off the floor on one side (the center platform side) and 82" high on the other side (the lower main aisle).  It is intended to be _viewed_ from the center platform side ("inside the mushroom").

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

- Photo album of layout construction -

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • 8,651 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 8:28 AM

In the photo's, it looks like the upper return loop is very high off the floor; 52-inches really doesn't even require a step ladder in many cases.  I guess it was just the angle of those photo's - man it looked a lot higher.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!